Ring of the Vampire
Aura strong transmutation; CL 16th (3.5)/13th (PF)
Slot ring; Price 418,000 gp; Weight —
This jet black ring holds a single, quaint red ruby in a silver fitting at its top. More of the lustrous metal covers its edges and makes up the highly stylized and esoteric runes that encircle the precious metal band.
This appears to be little more than a ring of chameleon power to anyone that fails to succeed on the Lore checks (see below) to understand its true power (alternatively, a DC 42 Spellcraft check identifies all of the properties of this item). Anyone that wears the ring of the vampire and kills in bloodlust (while using the rage class ability, rage spell or under a similar effect) or commits murder in cold blood finds their bodies change—their canine teeth grow into fangs as a gray pallor overcomes their skin and their eyes turn jet black, transforming them into a facsimile of a vampire.
In addition to the bonuses granted by a ring of chameleon power (free action for +10 Hide/Stealth, disguise self at will), the wearer's type changes to undead and they gain the following abilities while a ring of the vampire is equipped:
Blood Drain (Su) The wearer can suck blood from a grappled opponent; if they establish or maintain a pin they drain blood, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution damage. The wearer heals 5 hit points or gains 5 temporary hit points for 1 hour (up to a maximum number of temporary hit points equal to its full normal hit points) each round it drains blood.
Dominate (Su) The wearer of a ring of the vampire can crush a humanoid opponent's will as a standard action. Anyone the wearer targets must succeed on a Will save or fall instantly under their influence, as though by a dominate person spell (caster level 12th). The ability has a range of 30 feet.
Defensive and Offensive Abilities Channel Resistance +2, DR 5/silver, Resist Cold and Electricity 10, Fast Healing 2, a slam attack (1d4) and energy drain to all natural attacks (1 level, DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Charisma modifier).
Gaseous Form (Su) As a standard action, the wearer of a ring of the vampire can assume gaseous form at will (caster level 5th), but can remain gaseous indefinitely and with a fly speed of 20 feet (perfect maneuverability).
Shadowless (Ex) The wearer casts no shadows and shows no reflection in mirrors.
Spider Climb (Ex) The wearer of a ring of the vampire can climb sheer surfaces as though under the effects of a spider climb spell.
Immunity to Aging (Su) While wearing the ring of the vampire, the metabolic operations of its owner stop functioning until it is removed. They accrue attribute bonuses from aging, but none of the penalties associated with them and they cannot die from old age. When removed, the wearer of a ring of the vampire is restored to the same age that they were when they first put on the enchanted band (losing all age-based bonuses to attributes as the clarity of undeath leaves them).
These are not the only things bestowed by a ring of the vampire; its wearer suffers the litany of weaknesses vampires bear, as well as a few other detrimental side effects:
—The wearer cannot tolerate the strong odor of garlic and will not enter an area laced with it.
—Similarly, they recoil from mirrors or strongly presented holy symbols.
These things don't harm the wearer of a ring of the vampire—they merely keep it at bay. A recoiling wearer must stay at least 5 feet away from the mirror or holy symbol and cannot touch or make melee attacks against that creature. Holding a wearer of a ring of the vampire at bay takes a standard action. After 1 round, they can overcome their revulsion of the object and function normally each round they make a DC 25 Will save.
—The wearer cannot enter a private home or dwelling unless invited in by someone with the authority to do so.
—The wearer of a ring of the vampire is immune to aging effects, but if brought below 0 HP the enchantments granted by the ring immediately end (at which point they suffer all accrued age penalties and likely die).
—Exposing the wearer to direct sunlight staggers it on the first round of exposure and destroys it utterly on the second consecutive round of exposure if it does not escape.
—Each round of immersion in running water inflicts damage on a wearer of the ring of the vampire equal to one-third of its maximum hit points.
—Driving a wooden stake through the heart of a helpless wearer of the ring of the vampire instantly slays them (this is a full-round action).
—The wearer of a ring of the vampire gains an unnatural aura that disturbs animals and the young; they suffer a -6 penalty to all Charisma-based checks when interacting with animals and creatures that have the young template or who have not yet reached the adulthood age category.
Removing a ring of the vampire is no simple task; they must do so at the dawn of a new day, and only if they are of Good alignment. Even then, they must succeed on a DC 30 Will save to do so. Cutting of the finger bearing the ring does not remove it; the ring of the vampire simply appears on another finger and within a few seconds, the fast healing granted by the item has repaired the lost digits.
Alternatively, particularly desperate individuals have cut off their hands to remove the ring; this provides a +15 bonus to the Will save to remove a ring of the vampire, but if the dismemberment is done at any other time than dawn, the enchantment persists (and the ring of the vampire appears on their toe until a ring slot is available on the wearer's hands).
If the wearer's feet are also then removed from their body, the ring of the vampire appears as an earring, then upon the lip and finally on the wearer's eyebrows as a piercing. If all of these are cut off of the wearer's body (incurring a cumulative permanent -1 Charisma penalty for each piece removed) the ring of the vampire finally removes itself from their person in the last piece of flesh it can cling to (leaving its previous wearer hideously deformed).
HISTORY A character that makes a Knowledge (nobility) or Knowledge (religion) check to learn more about the ring of the vampire identifies important information about how the devious device operates:
DC 25 These rings of chameleon power once belonged exclusively to noble houses. Those who return them to the royalty that once owned the precious metal bands are rewarded extremely handsomely.
DC 30 Rings of this type are spoken of often in legend; it is said that rings of chameleon power that bear a ruby and the strange markings have turned many assassins into vampires, though how exactly none are sure.
DC 35 A barbarian warlord that plagued the northern lands for centuries wore this ring, and only when he was finally slain by a devout adventuring party was it revealed that somehow, the ring of chameleon power turned him into a vampire.
DC 40 The ring of the vampire is the powerful enchanted item you hold in your hands. Activating it requires a bloody, fatal end delivered by a raging blade or duplicitous dagger, but once that has been done, the wearer gains phenomenal powers of the undead. Removing it is another matter entirely, however, and the immortal monsters that created these rings made sure that identifying anyone who has done so is an easily accomplished task.
Requirements Forge Ring, polymorph any object (3.5) / greater age resistance and undead anatomy III (Pathfinder), dominate person, gaseous form, spider climb, the blood of five vampiric supplicants; Cost 209,000 gp 8,360 xp
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